Cop buys grandma eggs to feed hungry family after she’s caught shoplifting (VIDEO)
Grandmother Helen Johnson, 47, has been trying to feed a family of six with a $120 monthly welfare check, but the family ran out of food last Thursday, December 4. On Saturday, Johnson thought $1.25 would buy her a carton of eggs, but she ended up being 50 cents short, plus tax. She stuffed five eggs in her pocket out of desperation and was caught shoplifting by a Dollar General store clerk.
"Of course when I put them in my jacket pocket they broke,'' Johnson told local AL.com "I'm not a good thief at all."
The store clerk called the Tarrant Police Department. When an officer arrived, he bought her a dozen eggs.
Alabama cop get shoplifting call- Grandmother stealing eggs for hungry kids. He just buys the eggs for her. Alright! http://t.co/z8lyJEyJLp
— PING_PONG (@_Balls_Of_Fury) December 10, 2014
“Sometimes the best route is to not arrest,” said Officer William Stacy.
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Stacy’s encounter with Johnson, where he hugged her in the parking lot while handing her the eggs, went viral after it was captured on video.
“She started crying, she got very emotional and was very apologetic,'' Stacy said. "She tried to give me the money she had on her, $1.25."
Johnson lives with her two daughters, a niece and two grandchildren – aged one and three years. The children's mother receives a welfare check of $120 a month, but that check had gotten lost in the mail. Johnson herself gets a disability check.
Stacy told AL.com that he had been to Johnson's home on a different call before, and knew she was stealing so she could feed her destitute family.
The short video, posted on Facebook by Robert (Dollar) Tripp, has amassed some 524,000 views and thousands of comments and “likes.”
"I'm not a big fan of the spotlight, but I'm happy it's drawing attention to law enforcement officers,'' Stacy, who joined Tarrant's police force in 2013, told AL.com.